Don’s eMart

Don’s eMart – a shameless promotion of my own internet store.

Have you checked out Don’s eMart yet? It is packed with eBooks, Audio Books and downloadable software for you to purchase. Coming soon will be video tutorials on all sorts of subjects. Bookmark Don’s eMart and come back often to check out the latest in internet shopping. You won’t be disappointed.


Cricket Round 7 – Day 1

Another Saturday morning rolls around and the weather has not been good during the week. I was advised of a number of games that were called off on Friday evening. Come Saturday morning, a few more games were called off. I felt for sure that all games would be called off, but then I heard of one game still on. Patiently, I waited for the call to tell me my game was off. It was still raining at my place and then – poof – a power failure. I could do nothing. I couldn’t even get my car out of the garage (electric door), couldn’t shower (gas heater but electric starter), couldn’t shave (you guessed it – electric shaver), no telephone (wireless phone – requires electricity) and no computer (obvious by now). I reach for my handy mobile phone and – I am out of credit.

Luckily, the power comes back on and I can complete most tasks, but by now I am running late. I decide I have to go to the ground, but I expect my match will be called off. I arrive at the ground only to find that it hasn’t rained there and play will start on time. I am mentally unprepared for this and have to quickly adjust into umpiring mode.

The pitch is hard on top but “feels” soft. This is confirmed by how easy the stumps go into the ground. So, the pitch is soft and a little green, the outfield is dry, so that the ball wouldn’t get wet, and it was overcast with a humid breeze coming off the ocean, which would enable a fair amount of swing. My fellow Umpire and I discuss all this and decide that we would bowl first. But what would we know? We are only Umpires.

At the toss, the winning Captain chose to bat first. They were all out just on Tea time for 54 runs. The home team then batted and declared at 5 for 254. After 5 more overs, we abandon play due to bad light with the away team being none for 12.

What have I learned from this? Well, don’t assume anything with the weather. Even if it is raining at your place, don’t assume it is raining everywhere, because assume makes an ass out of u and me. Also, be prepared. I should not have waited until the last minute to get ready, only to have a power failure and start a panic. And above all, mentally prepare yourself for the game, even if it is subsequently called off. Luckily I snapped into Umpire mode pretty quickly when a batsman was bowled middle stump off the 4th ball of the day. But would I have been ready to give him out LBW if he had got his pad in the way? Every Umpire must be ready to give a decision from the first ball of the day right through to the last ball of the day. I think I used up one of my “get out of jail free” cards today.


Have You Upgraded Yet?

Have you upgraded to WordPress v3.0.2 yet?

It is an update to fix a security issue and a few “minor” problems. I don’t know what WordPress considers a “minor” problem, but I consider a problem, a problem. From what I can see, they sat on these “minor problems” until a “security issue” forced their hand to release this upgrade. They are busy working on version 3.1 and a minor upgrade is an unwanted distraction from their primary goal.

Nevertheless, I have checked out the upgrade and can say that v3.0.2 will not have any effect on those bloggers who are currently running v3.0.1.

Happy Blogging



Howzat? A phrase/word/exclamation that most Cricket Umpires will be familiar with. The Laws of Cricket specify that an appeal is “How’s that?”, but most Umpires are now used to a guttural “ahhh” that may last for several seconds. Umpires are not permitted to give a batsman out unless there is an appeal, even though they may think it is out.

I have also not posted a favourite song for a while, so this is my selection for this week. Check out the haircuts from 1976, and please ignore the fact that they cannot mime, but Sherbert were a big band in Australia many moons ago…


Cricket Round 6

Another one-day game, this time between two evenly matched sides.

Today I felt good, I had a day off from Umpiring on Friday and I now feel refreshed, even though my feet still feel a little sore. Maybe it’s true that “practice makes perfect”, as I saw and heard every snick, was is no doubt with all my decisions, both for and against, and kept my concentration levels right to the last ball. And I needed to (did I say evenly matched sides?) as the game ended in a tie! Both sides were all out for the same score!

This was my first tied match and caps off a memorable week for me. It is not often that I come away from a match and say that I had a great day (I am my own worst critic and can usually find something that I need to improve) but today was one of those days where you can walk off the ground and say “I did good”. These days are golden and the more of them you have, the more you know you’re in touch with the game and, more importantly, the more the players are happy to have you at their game. It’s what every Umpire should strive to achieve.